Only this time it is harder than most. How do I decide how much I need to nag for Piano Practice without it falling into the category called "pushing" ? How can I make sure that I am mentally stimulating without "helicoptering"? How do I ascertain that my exasperation when a long division is messed up is not going to cause some negative setback in late fifties of my offspring ? How do I teach to be competitive without being aggressive ?What are the fine lines ? Darn there are so many that I wish someone would have highlighted them with a fluorescent marker. And then comes real incidents like this only miles away from home and I wonder what went wrong with both the kids ? The Mothers must have stayed up nights, fed vegetables, told stories, ferried to a violin class or spent hours by the hot pool. The Fathers must have done whatever he did. The schools were excellent, the Teachers good. And yet.
No wonder by Thursday or even Wednesday I want to hand over the remote, a bag of chips and say "Que sera, sera".
In spite of this it is a fun ride. An exciting one. I would not say I learn as the years of my parenting grows because I am not sure of that. The only thing I realize is no two child are same and there is not set rule that applies to all.
Now many a Mondays when I am striving hard, I usually go on Amazon and order books for the girls. On these days I deviate from the standard fiction series that is bought otherwise. Recently I bought three books which I found so wonderful that I thought I would share with other Moms here.
The first one "Children Just Like Me" was suggested by the wonderful blog of Choxbox who sadly does not blog anymore. This is a beautiful book with gorgeous pictures about children all over the world and how they live, eat, go to school etc. Very engaging way to learn about the different cultures. The second one "Feel the Force" is a popup book explaining basic Physics stuff like gravity, friction, force, pressure etc. It is much fun and an excellent review is here. BTW, the Mom who writes that blog is very inspiring. I love her reviews and am totally awed by the activities she does with her kids. The third book "Bedtime Bugs" is a popup book for younger kids. This one I had to buy forced by Little A and it really was a good thing. If your child loves to pull tabs and pop-ups they will love this one..
Back to regular programming, lets talk food now. Today though it is just spices without which food wouldn't be what it is. Bhaja Masla or Roasted Masala is a unique Bengali spice blend. What makes it furthermore unique is that there are several kinds of it. Some I know of. Some I have heard of. Some I have no clue about.
Bhaja Masla 1 -- Dry roast cumin seeds and Dry Red chili. Cool and grind to a powder. Used in Alu Kabli
Bhaja Masla 2 -- Dry roast Paanch Phoron and Dry Red Chili. Cool and grind to powder. I use it on chutneys.
And then there is my Mother's Bhaja Masla. Her staple in her pantry. My home roasts with this flavor during her visits. Strong, Robust, Smoky--- this masala speaks of mystery and adventure and dark chambers with hidden specters. My Ma uses it to sprinkle on chutneys, to make vegetable chops, to use in lieu of Garam Masala and to revel in it. She also makes a fabulous niramish alur dom with it which will come up next.
The spices for Bhaja Masla
Cumin Seeds -- 2 tsp
Corriander Seeds -- 2 tsp
Fennel Seeds -- 2 tsp
Cardamom -- 6
Clove -- 8
Whole black Peppercorn -- 1 tsp (Use 3-4 Dry red chilies instead if you wish)
Tej Patta - 1 small
Dalchini -- a thin 1" stick
Roast for 8-10 minutes at very low heat till you get a strong spice smell. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
This measure makes a large amount of powder which can be stored for later use. You can make smaller amounts by using quarter of the measure.